According to Law Offices of Richard A. Portale, P.C., drug charges involving controlled substances come with life-changing consequences. We understand how overwhelming a drug charge my feel after you’ve been accused, especially, in Westchester. Fortunately, we’re familiar with the tactics a prosecution team may use against you, and we are prepared to defend you at the highest level so you leave this situation as unscathed as possible.

Sad to say, but one life-changing consequence of a drug charge is difficulty in landing in a good job or in any kind of job, for that matter. Actually, during the past two decades, one thing that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has witnessed is job applicants getting questioned by their prospect employers if they have been charged or convicted in the past. These employers also often do a background check for a possible criminal record and, if an applicant does have a record, this would be used to reject his/her application.

Though this may be a clear form of discrimination, the EEOC cannot hold an employer liable for violating the law unless it is clearly proven that the use of an applicant’s past criminal record is the real basis of the rejection. One actual example on this involves a case wherein an employer rejected the job application of an African American due to his criminal record, and then hired a White applicant whose skills were comparable to the former.

Workplace discrimination is one ill human behavior that has affected the work environment for so long. It has caused deep emotional injuries in so many victims, as well as ruined their lives, simply because they have been perceived as, or believed to be, different, weaker, (sometimes) dangerous, or just not preferable or likeable due to their race, color, language, accent, style of dressing, ideology, physical appearance, religion, behavior, and so forth.

The EEOC, an agency formed by the US Congress in 1964 for the enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, aims to create an equal society by prohibiting any form of discriminatory practice and behavior in the workplace; it encompasses all employment-related decisions from employment screening, to hiring and retention, and covers all firms, whether educational institutions, state and local governments, or private companies, that have 15 or more employees.

To avoid discrimination, as well as to avoid ending up hiring someone who poses an unacceptable risk, the EEOC formulated a three-part test that employers can use whenever considering an applicant with a past criminal record:

  • the gravity and nature of the conduct or criminal offense;
  • how long ago was the crime or the conviction; and,
  • what is the actual nature of the work the applicant is applying into, where is the work to be performed, the amount of supervision the applicant, once accepted, will receive, how much interaction with others is required by the job, and so forth.

As explained by Cary Kane LLP, inquiring about arrests or conviction during a job application and interview can only be done by employers in government agencies, the Port Authority or enforcement agencies. Those in private companies definitely are prohibited by the law from making inquiries regarding criminal records, much more from using these as ground to deny one’s application. In the event of an infraction of the Civil Rights Act by an employer an applicant or an employee can file a discrimination case, the sooner the better.

 


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